The Hon MEC, Babalo Madikizela, hosted a Youth in construction seminar at Umzimvubu Town Hall in Alfred Nzo Region to commemorate youth month and empower youth in the construction industry with information on how to access opportunities in the industry.
More than 300 Youth who have an interest in construction engaged on various issues such as funding for the sector, Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading system and access to tendering and procurement processes.
“The seminar is to try and uplift the standards of living to those less privileged in the region and ensure access to opportunities that are being offered by the department either in being Artisans or construction business owners’’ said Hon MEC Madikizela. He further encouraged the youth to fight for their rights as the youth of 1976 did.
The Hon MEC further emphasised the role that needs to be played by big contractors when it come to the development of small emerging contractors. “Big contractors need to commit to give 30% of the work awarded to them to Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMME) in all regions in the province” said Hon MEC Madikizela
The department has also selected 20 contractors from grade 1 to six (6) in all regions doing different classes of work to boost their grading on CIDB through work awarded to contractors. “We have to look how far we have gone to improve the lives of youth and economic equality in the province’’ said the Hon MEC.
Various institutions: Departments of Transport, Public Works, Human settlements and IDT presented on opportunities available for the youth to equip them with information to meet requirements for opportunities and youth delegates were able to ask questions from the presentations.
Sinethemba Bomvu gave a testimonial of Accelerated Professional Trade Competency Development Learnership programme (APTCoD) and praised the department for the opportunity she got to be trained as a young female Artisan. She said “I have a permanent job as a young female on construction”.
Qaqamba Mpiti made a testimonial for Integrated Construction Development Programme (ICDP) constructors “I started as Grade one (1) as I continue to grow in the construction, benefiting from the 30% that MEC has spoken about, now am in Grade five (5)”
The Hon MEC later went on to check progress of the renovations at the ex-Mary Theresa hospital which is being converted into office accommodation to accommodate Departments of Transport, Health and Social Development. In the visit he was accompanied by the Mayors of Umzimvubu and Mbizana Local Municipalities: Cllr Mnukwa and Mafumbatha together with the Alfred Nzo Executive Mayor, Cllr Sixolile Mehlomakhulu and Public Works senior officials.
Article: Thandeka Faku, Luvo Sandlana and Siyanda Nogantshi